6.4/10
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California Firebrand (1948)

Passed | | Western | 1 April 1948 (USA)
Hale finding a wounded Lowery assumes his identity. This gets him the job of town Marshal and puts him in the middle of the battle between Dawson and the Mason family. More trouble occurs ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Joyce Mason (as Adrian Booth)
Paul Hurst ...
Alice Tyrrell ...
...
Jim Requa aka Jud Babbit
LeRoy Mason ...
Luke Hartell
Douglas Evans ...
Lance Dawson
Sarah Edwards ...
Granny Hortense Mason
Dan Sheridan ...
Gunsmoke Lowery (as Daniel M. Sheridan)
Duke York ...
Chad Mason
Lanny Rees ...
Rick Mason
Foy Willing ...
Guitar Player Foy Willing
Riders of the Purple Sage ...
Musicians
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Storyline

Hale finding a wounded Lowery assumes his identity. This gets him the job of town Marshal and puts him in the middle of the battle between Dawson and the Mason family. More trouble occurs for Hale when Lowery arrives and exposes him as a fake. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Monte's slingin' hot lead and slammin' hard fists in his newest whiz-bang adventure! (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

1 April 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Vale do Sangue  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Trucolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of LeRoy Mason. He suffered a heart attack on the set and died a month later. See more »

Connections

Remake of Sheriff of Tombstone (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Gonna Have a Big Time Tonight
Written by Foy Willing and Sid Robin
Performed by Foy Willing and the Riders of the Purple Sage
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User Reviews

Average B-western given full Trucolor treatment
21 February 2016 | by (Bronx, NY) – See all my reviews

California FIREBRAND (1948) is a Republic Pictures western that was shot in Trucolor, the studio's exclusive two-color process and one that was used chiefly in Republic westerns from 1946 to 1956. Monte Hale, this film's star, made eight westerns in color during his tenure at Republic. The print of this film available for viewing on Amazon Prime is absolutely gorgeous and ranks with the better Trucolor prints of Roy Rogers westerns that I've seen on legit DVD and VHS editions (e.g. THE GOLDEN STALLION). The color values in this film rest on the red-and-blue side of the color spectrum and are a lot easier on the eyes than some of the green-and-orange two-color prints I've seen. The film itself is standard B-western fare, with a satisfactory plot and pleasing bursts of action weighed down by gratuitous comedy relief and an abundance of songs, as befitting the Republic "singing cowboy" format. Hale himself makes an amiable hero, but lacks the intensity and forthrightness one would find in the Trucolor westerns of Roy Rogers and Bill Elliott. There are some effective villains, though, as played by the formidable trio of Tris Coffin, Douglas Evans and LeRoy Mason.

Hale plays a cowboy, also named Monte Hale, who arrives in town looking to meet up with his uncle, only to learn that he's been killed. When Hale is mistaken for a hired gunslinger, he allows the deception to continue, even to the point of being appointed town marshal by the corrupt mayor (Douglas Evans), so that he can find out who killed his uncle. This puts a crimp in the romantic relationship Hale hopes to develop with the lady storekeeper, Joyce Mason (Adrian Booth), whose family is about to be evicted from their land for nonpayment of taxes, all so the mayor and his cronies can get access to the gold vein running under the Mason property. Hale is caught in the middle but eventually comes up with a plan to incriminate the mayor and his secret backer and aid the Masons. However, the real gunslinger, "Gunsmoke" Lowery (Daniel Sheridan), finally shows up and Hale and his partner Chuck (Paul Hurst) have to do some quick thinking.

Songs are provided by Hale singing solo and by musical performer Alice Tyrrell (a delightful brassy blonde who made too few movies) accompanied by the western group, Foy Willing and the Riders of the Purple Sage, who would replace Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers as Roy Rogers' musical sidekicks in 13 of Rogers' last 16 Republic westerns, from 1948 to 1951. Paul Hurst makes an excellent gun-toting "old coot" sidekick in the Gabby Hayes mode, but with a little more gravitas and not quite as exaggerated. Adrian Booth is a feisty and attractive brunette leading lady. There are some welcome familiar faces among the bad guys, including Glenn Strange and stuntmen Chuck Roberson and Dave Sharpe. The storyline was adapted from an earlier Roy Rogers western, SHERIFF OF TOMBSTONE (1941), which I still haven't seen. Hale has a pleasant personality and a good singing voice, but the plot here is strong enough to demand a more convincing and charismatic actor in the lead. Still, the Trucolor is so nice to look at I'd gladly watch this again.


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